The process for making this, is part craft project and part woodworking. To start, we'll channel your inner preschooler and break out the food coloring!
Step 1: Coloring Time!
To help the coloring wick through the material I chose to use some denatured alcohol. In my original tissue I used water. Both worked well, but the thinking with the alcohol was that it would dry faster and could then be cast in resin sooner. Any moisture in the tissue would ruin the casting. So a dry tissue is important!
I added the color in random patterns, then just folded the tissue over on and applied some pressure. In a minute or so, it had saturated all the white areas and made a very colorful medium to work with.
Step 2: Casting Call
The mold is made from melamine. I buy it at the Home Depot in the shelving isle. This one measured 3”x 6” x 1” and was put together with screws and taped around the outside. This also the first time I use a mold release agent. It worked well, and allows me to use this mold again in the future.
The epoxy resin used here is West System 105 resin with the 207 (clear) hardener. It didn’t take much to put a small layer over the tissue paper. Once poured you will have some bubbles in the resin that you will need to pop. Applying a bit of heat with a heat gun will do the trick.
There are always some micro-bubbles in my casting I cannot remove. I’m okay with that, but if it drives you nuts, you can apply more heat or buy yourself a vacuum chamber to rid yourself of the nasty little bubbles!
Now set this aside for 24 and allow it to cure.
Step 3: A Bright Idea
For the light portion, I simply used the bits from a Dollar Store night light. I bought two just in case I had an issue, but the clip came free pretty simply. I scored it with a razor and snapped it off, just clamp it down and keep your fingers clear!
Now we’ve got everything we need for our mod.
Step 4: Shaping and Polishing
Once the epoxy had cured I needed to remove it from the mold. Luckily had purchased some mold release as recommend by a fellow YouTuber, Zac Higgins @ NVWoodwerks! It just came free with a few choice whacks on the mold.
I cut out a shape I liked at the band saw and used the disc sander to refine it. This one was a simple dome, but you could make it as elaborate or simple as you please. That's the beauty of making it yourself!
After that I sanded the front and back to a high shine with wet sanding. I started with 400 grit and ended with 12000 grit acrylic polishing pads. They're called micro-mesh and I would highly recommend a set!
Lastly just glue on your clip with a dab of epoxy and in 30 minutes you’re good to go! How cool is it to elevate such a meager material as tissue paper into something you can actually call art!